Confused about colposcopy results

Hi there, I had my first colposcopy yesterday as last 3 smears have show HPV but no cell changes. The doctor took a biopsy and she said things looked fine maybe low grade changes. I’m confused though, why didn’t cell changes appear at my last smear? I’m trying to take comfort in the word ‘low’ but it scary when my smear was HPV - no cell changes. Has anyone else had this? The procedure was also agony and I really got upset, the thought of having to go through it again terrifies me.

Not everyone finds biopsies painful, but I sympathise with you there - I find it painful too! The smear test only samples from the surface of the cervix or just inside the opening; the biopsy will take a sample from the cervical canal, which is why it’s more painful, and therefore can detect abnormalities that a smear test cannot.

If you have slight changes - so in the CIN range - remember it’s still not cancer, but be grateful that your physician decided to arrange the colposcopy rather than rely on the smears. If there is anything it can be caught early.

I had treatment for abnormal cells 20 years ago and got the all clear. I had regular smears ever since, and all were negative. However at the end of last year I had a discharge including blood, and they found I had stage 3 cancer! My scar tissue must have hidden the changes and the cancer from view for many years. If only I had been given regular colposcopies (despite the pain) I would not have ended up with cancer.

Try not to worry, but hold on to the fact that they will be able to treat you, and you will be okay. If the treatment hurts, it’s only for a moment. It’s worth it to avoid cancer. X

Hi, were you diagnosed with HPV too . Thanks x

I’ve had 3 HPV positive results over last 3 years yes.

I only had my first HPV test along with biopsy during a colposcopy in November 2020 as they were not doing it routinely when I had my smear in 2017. I don’t know the result as they didn’t tell me. As they found I had cancer I think they may have thought it was irrelevant. I have a post treatment Gynae appointment with the same department later in August and I’ll ask then.

Hi Jacks, god that sounds awful, I appreciate you speaking about your experience as it puts things into perspective. I think it didn’t help I got a bit emotional about my mum passing away in January and I didn’t have her to talk about my worries with but this forum has been a great help. You are right if there is anything wrong they will help sort it out so try and be brave. I’m very sorry for your diagnosis. :cry: